Saturday, May 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston, Doug Martin power Bucs to win over Eagles

PHILADELPHIA — It was Phantasy Phootball come to life in Philly for the Bucs on Sunday.

Doug Martin rushed for 235 yards, and until he lost 3 in the Bucs' last series, he had broken the record for most rushing yards against the Eagles, a mark held by Jim Brown and Emmitt Smith. Not to be outdone, quarterback Jameis Winston tied the NFL rookie record for a game by throwing five touchdown passes, four in the first half.

The result was the Bucs' record-book-thumbing 45-17 win over the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Bucs have their first two-game winning streak in two years, a .500 record and served notice to the rest of the league that they are not only relevant but in position to make a run at a playoff spot.

"That was insane, man," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "It's great when one of your dilemmas is who's going to win player of the week. That's how it is. We've got two guys, a running back who runs for (235 yards) and a rookie quarterback who throws five touchdowns. That's crazy."

Martin and Winston were the Draft Kings on Sunday, a pair of Bucs first-round draft picks who dominated the game and made the Eagles' hurry-up offense look like it was full of pedestrians on the Autobahn. Martin had runs of 58, 84 and 27 yards, though none of them finished in the end zone. On his 84-yarder — the longest run from scrimmage in team history — Martin was pushed out of bounds at the Eagles' 1-yard line by speedy cornerback Nolan Carroll.

"I got run down. To my defense, I think the corner ran a 4.2 (40-yard dash)," Martin said. "It was a great play, and I hope I continue to play like that."

Martin had the most rushing yards in an NFL game since, well, Martin rushed for 251 against the Raiders as a rookie in 2012.

"I knew good things were happening. But records … I still don't know any of the records (Martin) had," coach Lovie Smith said. "I just know Doug Martin has been outstanding from training camp on. He's been trending that way, and he's running with a purpose, and the offensive line sees that and they want to give him an opportunity. It's not just like big holes. He's breaking tackles, doing everything you want from a franchise running back."

Offensive guard Logan Mankins said Martin was especially quick hitting the holes.

"Wooo, Doug was special today," Mankins said. "He ran hard, as usual. He always runs superhard. But there were a few of those plays, there was just a crease and he hit it, and hit it perfect, and was moving."

But what really has the Bucs excited is their quarterback. Winston grew up an Eagles fan, idolizing their former quarterback Randall Cunningham, and he had said he couldn't wait to play Sunday.

"I was even singing the (Eagles') fight song out there on the field," Winston said. "I was singing it. You'd better believe I was."

But the Eagles were never on the road to "Vic-tor-y." And scoring a touchdown "one-two-three," four and five was Winston, who completed his five touchdown passes to five receivers. He began with a toe-tapper in the end zone by Mike Evans and continued with a slant to Vincent Jackson, who returned to the lineup after missing three games with a knee sprain. Russell Shepard, Charles Sims and Cameron Brate also caught scoring strikes from Winston, who tied the NFL rookie record held by the Lions' Matthew Stafford.

The Bucs' 521 yards were their most in a game in 35 years and the second most in team history.

The only hiccup belonged to the defense. After it recovered a fumble that defensive end Jacquies Smith then fumbled away, the Eagles went 86 yards in seven plays for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

"They put us on our heels a little bit," Lovie Smith said. "We didn't play well defensively that first series. After that, though, our guys have come back from adversity throughout the year."

The Bucs' big players on defense stepped up. McCoy had 1 1/2 sacks, and linebacker Lavonte David returned his second interception of the game 20 yards for the first touchdown of his career.

"(Last) week we talked about back-to-back wins," Smith said. "I know that's small to everybody else, but for us, that's something we haven't done in a long time. The guys really believe. … We've talked a lot about being relevant again. I think we're relevant again."

Thanks to Winston and Martin, who bullied the Eagles on Broad Street.

     
           
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